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I made pizza for the first time last night. I carefully folded the dough until it was smooth, watched it rise, stretched it into a hot cast-iron skillet, added layers of mozzarella and soppressata, and brushed the crust with sticky, hot honey. I ate it while watching an episode of Love Island Australia, and before I’d even finished the first slice, I started wondering what I’d cook next.
In the last two months, cooking has become one of my favorite joyful distractions. It’s calming and the right amount of time-consuming but—most important, for me—I get to eat good food. Some of the best things I’ve cooked recently, listed from simplest to most complex, include:
- These extra-crispy tossed potatoes that were by far the best I’ve ever roasted (and I’ve roasted quite a few)
- This salt-and-pepper roast chicken (again, the best one I’ve ever made)
- This Vietnamese-style salmon, served on a bed of greens and vermicelli noodles
- This chicken ramen that I made with homemade stock using scraps from aforementioned roast chicken in my Instant Pot
- A loaf of Mark Bittman’s bread, which didn’t require kneading, but did call for a lot of patience
- And these pork and chive dumplings that I spent the better part of a day making
Two months is a long time, as I’m sure everyone currently living through the mess that is 2020 will agree. During the first two weeks of quarantine, I bookmarked and screenshot so many recipes I was sure I’d never get through them all—but alas, pizza dough was one of the final conquests on my to-do list, so I’m here asking for some inspiration.
What’s the best thing you’ve cooked recently? I want recipes, I want unlikely snack combinations, I want anything that will fill the void of café breakfasts and servers who dutifully recite the evening’s specials. Feed me with your recipe recommendations!
Cover Animation by Lorenza Centi.